By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
The dreaded mid-day slump has set in, and you need a burst of energy to get going again. Instead of turning to a cup of coffee or a sugar-filled fruit bar, try a few Yoga asanas or an energizing pranayama session for an instant pick-me-up.
Yoga’s Solution for the Mid-Day Slump
Sitting in your chair, close your eyes and take a moment to still your breath and movement. Bring your mind into focus and set your intention. Nurturing your body, feeling your emotions fully, and bringing productivity back to your body, mind, and spirit, are all good intentions for this kind of situation. Begin breathing deeply and twist your upper body first to the right, then to the left, for an upper body stretch.
Now, close your office door, and drop to your hands and knees for some Cat and Cow stretches. Curl and press to full spinal extension, moving with the breath. Push back into Child’s pose for a moment, perhaps cupping your hands to give the arms a better stretch.
Pulling up to a standing position, fold forward into a forward bend, nodding “yes,” and gently shaking your head “no” to relax the neck. Roll slowly upwards, one vertebrae at a time. Step forward into Mountain Pose, feeling strong and powerful. This entire sequence need take no longer than five minutes; yet the energy cultivated by this brief Yoga session should last you through the afternoon.
How Yoga Cultivates Energy
Why is Yoga training so energizing? Firstly, sitting in a desk chair exacerbates poor posture and keeps the chest from fully opening. Full, deep breaths are rarely taken while the mind is engaged in office work. Muscles, that sit in the same position for a long period of time, do not rid themselves of lactic acid, while they can become tense, sore, and stiff. Moving into Forward Bend briefly stretches the spinal structure, while the entire movement causes the heart to pump slightly faster.
Beyond the physical aspects of raising one’s energy level, Yoga teaches us to master the art of taking the time to focus on stilling the mind, which provides mental relief from one’s office and job duties. The “monkey mind,” or thoughts that aimlessly wander around our heads, cannot be stilled easily, and cause a fatigued mindset.
Within the workplace is an increasing emphasis on multitasking, using personal devices to increase productivity, and networking. The mind is called upon to move in thousands of ways every hour on the job. Spending even five minutes away from this flow of incessant demands is a very real rest. Practicing and gaining energy from Yoga training, to revitalize the mind and body, may be the best thing you do for yourself all day.
© Copyright 2011 – Paul Jerard / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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